A few years ago, I purchased a 1997-98 German adidas catalogue on eBay.
In that season, seven Bundesliga sides had kits made by the brand and an idea I had was to, at some stage, chart all of the fixtures between them.
Then I realised that, while Karlsruhe were relegated in 1998, adidas sides Nuremberg and Freiburg were promoted and another team, Hansa Rostock, reverted back for a short-lived tenure.
That meant that nine of the 18 teams on the grid for 1998-99 were clad in adidas and so I went with that instead.
Outside of leagues which have a central kit contract, like the MLS, a 50 percent hit-rate for a single manufacturer is inordinately high in the modern era – Umbro in the inaugural Premier League season, 1992-93, is the only other example I can think of off the top of my head.
Leading the way in terms of combinations used are Hertha Berlin and Schalke with six each while Kaiserslautern have five – though of course there are just the inter-adidas matches, for example die Lauterer wore red shirts, black shorts and black socks away to Hamburg.
Leaving aside the Bayer Leverkusen primary strip, four red/black kits featured and all of them were worn away to Schalke, as was Hansa Rostock’s red/navy change kit.
Nine clubs wearing adidas means 72 league matches where both had the three stripes and here they are:
On mobile devices, the images may not be fully clear – for better quality, see the individual club pages:
And, finally, a bonus track:
The 1998-99 season was the last where the maximum number of teams from a single country in the Champions League was two and intra-national ties were rare as a result.
As it happened, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich had met in the quarter-finals of the 1997-98 competition and the last eight in 1998-99 brought Kaiserslautern and Bayern together.
In both legs, Kaiserslautern wore their all-red home kit while Bayern were in their special silver European change strip.
This was not fully reserved for the Champions League – it was worn against 1860 Munich in the Bundesliga (with the Zafira logo) and would probably have been a better choice at Nürnberg but we won’t complain about seeing a rare mashup.
The German tradition of putting the team name on the back was not permitted for Europe, while Bayern also had to comply with the regulation that player names had to go above the number, in contrast to domestically, where they put it below with the team name on top.